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Jennifer Lyerly, O.D., '11 Welcomed to Board of Trustees

Southern College of Optometry welcomes alumna Jennifer Lyerly, O.D. '11, as one of its newest members to join the college's Board of Trustees.

Dr. Lyerly graduated Summa Cum Laude from SCO and was named Outstanding Clinician in her class. She was also awarded SCO’s Young Alumni Award in 2017 for her service, leadership, and support of SCO. As a native of Clemmons, North Carolina, she was valedictorian at North Carolina State University. 

She practices in Cary, North Carolina with a focus on specialty contact lenses. Dr. Lyerly has also cofounded Defocus Media, a social media management company for private practice ODs and is the cohost of Defocus Media Podcast. 

Dr. Lyerly is also the founder of Eyedolatry Blog, an eyecare website with a focus on encouraging women’s leadership within optometry. Dr. Lyerly was named one of Vision Monday's Most Influential Women in Optometry in 2015 and was a 2018 Transition Academy's Brand Ambassador of the Year. 

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at 2/1/19

James D. Sandefur, O.D., '65 Named SCO Board Chair

James D. Sandefur, O.D. ’65 has been named Chair of the Board of Trustees at Southern College of Optometry after several years of board service to his alma mater, including co-chair of the college’s “Envision Our Progress” fundraising campaign. A 1965 SCO graduate, Dr. Sandefur officially assumed the chair position at the board’s January meeting.

Following his graduation from SCO, Dr. Sandefur founded The Vision Clinic in Oakdale, Louisiana, where he provided care for more than 30 years before selling his practice. During his years of practice, he was one of the first optometrists in Louisiana to serve on a hospital staff.

In 1997, he was named Executive Director of the Optometry Association of Louisiana. Under his leadership, membership in the state’s association has doubled. His leadership helped secure passage of numerous bills that help optometrists better serve their patients.

He has served on numerous committees for the American Optometric Association and received that organization’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010. He also has been honored by Southwest Council of Optometry (SWCO) for his leadership and received SCO’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 in recognition of his longtime service to the profession of optometry. In 2017, he was inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame.

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at 1/30/19

SCO Alumna Dives In During Competition

Carissa Chambers, OD, ’13 recently competed in Ironman Cozumel, which is her first Ironman competition. Ironman Cozumel is a grueling event that requires athletes to swim in the ocean for 2.4 miles, bike in the heat of 95+ degrees for 112 miles, then run a full marathon all under a 17-hour time cap. Dr. Chambers completed the 140.6 miles in 15 hours and 56 minutes. The competition is the ultimate test for a triathlete, but the optometrist at Jonesborough Eye Clinic in Jonesborough, TN took on the challenge. It takes most about a year to train for such an event and Dr. Chambers trained more than once a day 6 days a week for this competition.

During her trip, Dr. Chambers was able to meet up with some people she first met back on her SVOSH trip to Valladolid, Yucatan in Mexico in 2013.

Click here to read more about her experience. 

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at 12/14/18

SCO Honors Norma K. Bowyer with Lifetime Achievement Award

Southern College of Optometry recently awarded its lifetime achievement award to Norma K. Bowyer, O.D., a 1977 SCO graduate. Bowyer received the award during the college’s Fall Homecoming and Continuing Education Weekend. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the Armed Forces Optometric Society. She has received a number of awards and honors, including the American Optometric Foundation’s Ezell Fellowship and American Optometric Association’s (AOA’s) Keyperson of the Year Award. In 2013, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Public Health Association’s Vision Care Section. 

"I am honored and humbled to receive the 2018 Southern College of Optometry Lifetime Achievement Award,” Bowyer said. 

Bowyer has served as director of off-campus clinical programs at Southern California College of Optometry and was a practicum coordinator for the Masters of Public Health program that she helped shepherd through to accreditation at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. She was also instrumental in supporting vision and eye health care-related initiatives in the nation’s Healthy People program coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She continues to consult and work on plans for Health People 2020. She was also recently re-elected as a Governing Councilor for the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association as well.

Bowyer serves on a number of state and national boards, advisory panels, and is active in the National Rural Health Association. As an American Optometric Association Keyperson, Dr. Bowyer joined Dr. Glen Steele from SCO’s faculty in helping secure Congressional support for the InfantSEE program. That support marked the first direct funding ever from Congress for optometry.

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at 10/17/18

SCO Alumnus Releases New Motion Picture “Indivisible”

David Evans, OD, ’94 has a new venture under his belt. The owner and President of Total Eye Care, PA in Memphis, TN is also a stage producer, film director and owner of his production company, Graceworks Pictures, LLC. His second feature film, Indivisible, will open nationwide October 26. 
The faith-based film is based on a captivating true story about Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather and how they prepare to follow their calling: serving God, family, and country. 

“I was very intrigued by the role that chaplains play in the military. Chaplains are like the pastors to the troops,” said Dr. Evans. “Indivisible highlights and increase the awareness of challenges faced in marriages in the times of deployment and the role that chaplains play in the military.” 

Indivisible took 6 years to be developed. It was filmed in Memphis during the entire month of May 2017 in Memphis followed by two weeks of filming in Santa Clarita, CA. It also stars Sarah Drew (Grey’s Anatomy), Justin Bruening (Grey’s Anatomy), Jason George (Station 19, Grey’s Anatomy), Tia Mowry (Sister, Sister, The Game) and Madeline Carroll (I Can Only Imagine).

The film received assistance from the Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission in providing local resources and assisting the production team with crew and locations. Dr. Evans also worked with the TN Entertainment Commission to obtain approval for the production incentive offered by the state.
More than 250 volunteers from the Memphis area worked on the project alongside many professional crew members from Shelby County and throughout the state. Indivisible has also already received numerous endorsements from distinguished members of the faith-based community.

Dr. Evans grew up making home movies and short films with his brother. He always loved watching movies and thought that the idea of making movies was incredible. After graduating from SCO in 1994, Dr. Evans wrote, produced, and directed an annual, original Passion Play at Calvary Church with a cast and crew topping 250.

After seeing the movie Fireproof seven years ago, Dr. Evans was inspired to produce and directed the feature film The Grace Card starring Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. Shot entirely in Memphis, the film opened in theaters February 2011and has been distributed in over 400 theaters throughout the country. 

Fireproof let me know that a church can make a box office film,” said Dr. Evans. 

It’s evident that optometry and filmmaking are Dr. Evans’ biggest passions. 

“As being an optometrist for over 20 years, I love taking care of patients and impacting the lives of people that will have a great impact on families,” said Dr. Evans. 

At Total Eye Care, Dr. Evans has a dependable staff and doctors that work alongside him and that are focused on providing the best eye care and understand his passion for filmmaking. “Our three ODs and three MDs are able to sustain our clinic and research trials and practice while I’m away,” said Dr. Evans. “Our patients are our # 1 fans when comes to the films and we promote the film in the office.”

“I’m ready to focus on eyecare now, and I’m praying about the next steps and waiting to see what God wants us to do next,” said Dr. Evans.
Indivisible will open nationwide on October 26th and there will also be a screening Thursday, October 25 at 6:45 PM at Malco Paradiso, located at 584 S Mendenhall Rd, Memphis, TN 38117. The screening is open to the SCO community for people at SCO and admission is $11.50. Please call 901.761.4620 to purchase your tickets.

For more information about Indivisible, visit

Posted by Jennifer Sharp at 10/16/18